CHICAGO, March 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The medical advisory board of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF), the nation's leading patient education and advocacy organization representing the more than 200,000 Americans with pulmonary fibrosis (PF), has issued an updated statement on the use of stem cell/cell-based therapies. The statement, first published in 2015, strongly cautions patients with pulmonary fibrosis against using stem cell treatments outside of an approved clinical trial.
"We understand that patients are eager to identify therapies that will prevent the devastating effects of their disease," said Dr. Gregory Cosgrove, Chief Medical Officer for the PFF. "But experimental treatments provided by unregulated, commercial stem cell centers have the potential to cause great harm to individuals who are dealing with this life-threatening disease."
Several cases of severe respiratory illness resulting from "stem cell" infusions from commercial centers have been identified and reported to federal regulatory agencies. The direct-to-consumer marketing of stem cell therapies currently exaggerate claims of the benefit of stem cells/cell-based therapy without an established record of safety.
"Desperate patients and their physicians continue to succumb to an onslaught of marketing and branding of as yet unproven stem cell treatments," said Dr. Andrew Limper, Chair of the PFF Medical Advisory Board.
Limper and Cosgrove urged patients to learn about relevant and feasible clinical trials that may be available to them on the PFF website, pulmonaryfibrosis.org. Four phase I clinical studies have been published to begin to understand safety using different types of stem cells for interstitial lung disease. Specific clinical trials evaluating innovative therapies can be located using the PFF Clinical Trial Finder.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a debilitating and complex disease which causes progressive scarring in the lungs. Fifty-thousand new cases are diagnosed each year. There is no known cure.
About the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation mobilizes people and resources to provide access to high quality care and leads research for a cure so people with pulmonary fibrosis will live longer, healthier lives. The PFF collaborates with physicians, organizations, patients, and caregivers worldwide. The PFF has a three-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Better Business Bureau accredited charity. For more information, visit pulmonaryfibrosis.org or call 844.TalkPFF (844.825.5733) or 312.587.9272 from outside the U.S.
CONTACT: Dorothy Coyle 773-332-6201
SOURCE The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation